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European Cities have a major role to play in delivering good access both to their own citizens with disabilities and to tourists of all ages and abilities.
Many European Cities are working to build their reputations as accessible, liveable cities that offer a warm welcome to all visitors.
Here, at the Accessible Cities Home Page, ENAT publishes the profiles of those cities that wish to showcase their achievements and good practices. These are Europe's Accessible Cities, setting new benchmarks in their continual efforts to improve accessibility.
The Smart Tourism Capitals of Europe award is a European Commission initiative that recognises best practices in Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitisation and Cultual Heritage and creativity. The award has been given to leading cities in Europe since 2018 and a Compendium of Best Practices has been compiled from the cities' submissions in 2019 and 2020.
The European Award for Accessible Cities was launched in May 2010 by the European Commission and has run on an annual basis since then.
The award is given to the city that:
- has demonstrably improved accessibility in fundamental aspects of city living:
- the built environment and public spaces;
- transport and related infrastructure;
- information and communication, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
- public facilities and services.
- is committed to continued improvements in accessibility in a sustainable way;
- can act as a role model and encourage the adoption of best practices in all other European cities.
As such, the competition covers accessibility in the everyday lives of city residents and, to some extent, the accessibility of tourist offers. However, accessible tourism products, services and marketing are not specifically included in the award criteria.
Visit: EU Access City Award Website
Below, ENAT has gathered the results of previous editions of the Access City Award in order to provide a complete record of the awarded and commended cities since 2010.
Access City Award Winner 2022, Luxembourg City
A jury of accessibility experts awarded Luxembourg City first place among 40 entrants for its wide range of innovative solutions and improvements to enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The city of Helsinki in Finland and the city of Barcelona in Spain were the second and third place winners.
Leuven in Belgium was recognised for mainstreaming accessibility, including in the digital area.
Palma in Mallorca, Spain, won a special mention for improving access to the physical environment, including natural areas, beaches and parks to support inclusive tourism.
The city of Porto, Portugal, received a Special Mention for improving accessibility of train stations. 2021 was the European Year of Rail Transport.
More information: ENAT News item and video
Access City Award Winner 2021, Jönköping, Sweden
The 2021 Access City Award goes to the city of Jönköping for making the city more accessible to persons with disabilities. Jönköping, in the south of Sweden, made continuous improvements in both the new and old areas of the city, in collaboration with disability organisations. The city also created a local ‘Access City Award’, for businesses or organisations that worked with their customers to improve accessibility. Out of 50 applications, Jönköping was designated the winner of the 11th edition of the Access City Award at the online ceremony on 1 December.
The city of Bremerhaven in Germany and the city of Gdynia in Poland are the second and third place winners of the 2021 Access City Award.
Poznań in Poland received a special mention for accessibility of public services in times of the pandemic.
Two further special mentions were awarded to Komotini in Greece for “accessibility as an opportunity for the whole city” and Florence in Italy for the “built environment”.
Visit the ENAT News page: Jönköping EU Access City award winner 2021
Access City Award Winner 2020, Warsaw, Poland
The 2020 Access City Award goes to the city of Warsaw, in Poland.
The city of Castellóde la Plana in Spain and the city of Skellefteå in Sweden are the second and third place winners.
Chania in Greece, Tartu in Estonia and Evreux in France all received a special mention.
2019 Access City Award Winner: Breda, The Netherlands
The award was given "for continuously making improvements to make life easier for people with disabilities".
For the 2019 Access City Award, the European Commission received 52 applications.
The city of Évreux in France and the city of Gdynia in Poland are the second and third place winners. The jury praised Évreux for its particular focus on invisible disabilities and Gdynia for its initiatives to include people with intellectual disabilities.
Finally, Kaposvár in Hungary and Vigo in Spain both received a special mention. Kaposvár was recognised for its continued improvements and Vigo for its innovative architecture in a challenging topography.
2018 Access City Award Winner: Lyon, France
The city of Lyon was awarded first prize for 2018. At the award ceremony in December 2017, Lyon was praised for its public buses that are 100% accessible, and access to culture for all is also ensured, thanks to the inclusion of accessible equipment in libraries, such as reading machines, audiobook readers and magnifying screens. The city has also developed digital tools for people with disabilities, and in terms of work integration, 7.8% of civil servants are people with a disability. This is significantly higher than the legal minimum quota of 6% required by the French legislation.
The European Commission also rewarded the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the city of Luxembourg with a second and third place respectively. Ljubljana integrated accessibility in its overall policy, appointing a special advisory committee with elderly and people with disabilities so that they are directly involved in the city’s policymaking. The city of Luxembourg has put a lot of effort into raising awareness among citizens to avoid stigma in relation to disability and building a highly inclusive city in which everyone feels comfortable.
Finally, the city of Viborg in Denmark received a special mention for reconciling its historical heritage and hilly landscape with an accessible infrastructure. In 2017, 26 cities across the EU took part in the competition.
2017 Access City Award Winner: Chester, United Kingdom
The city of Chester (UK) was awarded first prize for 2017 for its dedication in ensuring that the city and its beautiful medieval walls can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Other recognised good practices were commended from the cities of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Jūrmala (Latvia), Lugo (Spain), Skellefteå (Sweden), Alessandria (Italy) and Funchal (Portugal).
Download the 2017 Access City Award Brochure in PDF format.
2016 Access City Award Winner: Milan, Italy
- Wiesbaden, Germany – Second Prize
- Toulouse, France – Third Prize and Special Mention as a “Smart City”
- Vaasa, Finland – Special Mention for commitment to improving the working environment for its older and disabled population
- Kaposvár, Hungary – Special Mention for its commitment to improving access for older and disabled people
2015 Access City Award Winner: Borås, Sweden
The Award, presented in Brussels on 3rd December 2014, recognises Borås's comprehensive and strategic approach to creating an accessible city for all; a good example of local action to help removing the many barriers that people with disabilities still face in their daily life.
- Helsinki (Finland) took the second prize.
- Ljubljana (Slovenia) took third prize.
- Logroño, Spain, was awarded a special mention in the field of the built environment and public spaces,
- Budapest, Hungary, received a special mention for its work in the field of transportation.
- Arona, Spain, and Luxembourg got a special mention for public facilities and services.
No special mention was awarded in the category Information and Communication Technologies.
2014 Access City Award Winner: Gothenburg, Sweden
In the fourth edition, 2013-14, the winner was Gothenburg (Sweden) with second place Grenoble (France) and third place Poznan (Poland).
Special mentions went to Belfast (United Kingdom), Dresden (Germany), Burgos (Spain) and Malaga (Spain).
2013 Access City Award Winner: Berlin, Germany
In 2012-13, 99 cities from 20 EU member states took part in the competition. The Award was given to the German City of Berlin.
The two other finalists were: Nantes (France) and Stockholm (Sweden). The jury also assigned special mentions to: Pamplona (Spain) for the built environment and public spaces, Gdynia (Poland) for transport and related infrastructures, Bilbao (Spain) for information and communication, including new technologies and Tallaght (Ireland) for public facilities and services.
2012 Access City Award Winner: Salzburg, Austria
In 2011-12, 114 applications were received from cities in 23 EU Member States. The Austrian city of Salzburg was proclaimed as the overall winner.
The three finalist “runners-up” were (in alphabetical order): Kraków (Poland), Marburg (Germany) and Santander (Spain). Special mentions for notable achievements were given to: Terrassa (Spain) for the built environment and public spaces, Ljubljana (Slovenia) for transport and related infrastructures, Olomouc (Czech Republic) for information and communication, including new technologies and Grenoble (France) for public facilities and services.
2011 Access City Award Winner: Ávila, Spain
In the 2010-11 inaugural edition, 66 European cities from 19 EU Member States participated in the competition. The winning city was Ávila in Spain.
The three other finalists were Barcelona (Spain), Cologne (Germany) and Turku (Finland).
ENAT applauds the Commission's European Access City Award and encourages ENAT Members (and cities everywhere) to take an active part in the competition, especially highlighting the importance of good access as a component of their city's performance as an inclusive tourism destination - for visitors and citizens alike.
These ENAT pages are not officially connected with the European Commission's Access Cities Award. City profiles shown here should not be construed as representing the views, opinions or recommendations of the European Commission.
ENAT is not connected with or responsible for the European Access City Award.
While ENAT endeavours to verify the correctness of all information submitted to these pages by its members, ENAT does not guarantee and cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage caused by the use of such information.
ENAT members can add their city profiles here.
Tourism Information Offices and Municipal authorities are invited to create their own profile page describing their good practices in accessibility. The target audience of the profile page can include residents, visitors, disability organisations, businesses, educators, researchers and other public authorities.
Profile pages can include text, links to municipal and tourist websites and a rich variety of content such as photos, Google maps, videos, file downloads, etc.
A city authority can create its own Accessible City profile page using a simple template and the easy-to use Content Management System. For more complex pages, authors can send material by email to the web editor.
For further details or if you have any questions, please contact the ENAT Secretariat.
Before you start you may like to view the Demo Page at the bottom of the following list of cities.
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